New York Governor David Paterson is
expected to sign an executive order protecting transgender state
employees from discrimination on Wednesday.
A group with direct knowledge of the
governor's plans, the Transgender
Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), called the order an
“Like everyone else, transgender
employees deserve to be judged on their ability to do the job, and
not on who they are,” Michael Silverman, executive director of
TLDEF, said in a statement released Tuesday.
“This executive order will ensure
that hard-working trangender employees of New York can work without
fear of discrimination, and provide for themselves and their
“We applaud Governor Paterson for
taking this important step for transgender equal rights,” he added.
The state's largest cities – New York
City, Rochester, Albany and Buffalo – already prohibit
discrimination in the workplace on the basis of gender identity.
Gay activists have lobbied for a
similar statewide measure in the New York Legislature. Lawmakers in
the Assembly have repeatedly approved the Gender Expression
Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), a bill that would protect transgender
persons in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations,
education and credit, but the Senate has so far refused to hear the
The governor is expected to sign the
order at a press event Wednesday morning at the Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual and Transgender Community Center in Greenwich Village. A
number of high-profile gay activists, including representatives from
State Pride Agenda, the state's largest gay rights group, and
TLDEF are expected to join the governor.
The order will not apply to employees
working in the public sector. For that to happen, lawmakers would
need to approve GENDA.